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What those shoes did next!

They say that when the vicar’s wife asks you to do something, it’s usually wise to say yes. I have to say I had my doubts about our vicar’s wife’s latest request. When she said “Will you model in the charity fashion show?” I really did wonder whether “Yes” was the wisest answer! My first thought was that I wouldn’t be the only one doing it and it might be fun. But as the day drew nearer I began to wonder what I’d done. I mean, I know it was prophesied over me earlier this year that God has called me to be an Esther for Him, but did I really have to identify with the whole beauty pageant thing too?

A couple of weeks before the show, the vicar’s wife emailed to ask some questions I didn’t really know the answers to, like my chest, waist, hip and inside leg measurements. Well ever the domestic goddess, the only tape measure I could find was the metal retractable DIY one – not the most comfortable tool to measure your body parts with on a winter’s evening I can tell you.

 A week later the next email came through entitled “Information for the supermodels.” Well I liked the sound of that. Then I opened it. It contained such helpful information as “If you do tend to perspire please ensure that you apply adequate deodorant prior to arrival.” And there were detailed instructions regarding the various computations of colour and straps of bras to bring. Well I didn’t have them all did I so I had to borrow one. Then I had visions of the announcer saying, “And Caroline is wearing this season’s D&G little black dress carefully twinned with her sister-in law’s bra!” We also had to take a variety of heels, flats and boots. Well you can guess which ones had to be in my bag – oh yes the pink ones!

The night before the show, I was at church rehearsing for something far less embarrassing and saw that a small square stage had been set up at the front of church. I supposed that wouldn’t be too bad. Wander onto the stage, turn round a few times and come off again. Not so! When we arrived an hour before the show, we walked into church and saw the transformation. Where there is usually the traditional church aisle stood a great long stage or should I say catwalk! All the chairs had been turned sideways in to face it and it looked proper intimidating! I have to say the vicar’s wife was laughing at this point. We had all gone a whiter shade of pale as we walked in and she was laughing! I believe I said something like, “The things I do for you!”

We all had to have a little practice at strutting our stuff and posing. The lady from “Wardrobe Mistresses” (the company who were running it) told us to walk with our heads up, don’t look anyone in the eye, stop halfway, hand on right hip, turn, hand on left hip, pose, turn walk to the end, hands on hips, turn, walk back again, turn, walk the whole length, pose, turn, walk back again, pose, hold it until the music comes up loud again and then you’re allowed off.  You know when your head is racing with nerves and you can’t remember what anyone just said? Hadn’t a clue! Fell up the stage on the practice run…marvellous!

There were five or six outfits allocated to each of the models which all had to be tried on and accessorised before the show. Then the seven models had to put ourselves in an order. The ‘Wardrobe Mistress’ said, “Who’s confident enough or wants to go out first?” “Caroline,” said the rest of them! As my foot hit the catwalk a great big cheer went up and continuous applause all the way down the first run. It was so good to discover that halfway down the church, just at the “turn, pose, turn, pose” point of the audience sat one of my closest friends – a wide encouraging smile on her face. How reassuring to see her every time! You’ll be glad to know I didn’t fall over although there was a distinct wobble at the end of the run where I wore my black heels – must remember to stick to the pink ones! As soon as one run was done, it was back out to the kitchen (I mean, ‘supermodels changing room’), throw that outfit off and pull on the next one. It was just like you see on the telly!

At the end, all the models had to come out together, stop, even numbers turn left, odd numbers turn right, pose, 180 turn, pose, and walk back. See I told you it was complicated! Just at the second pose, I came face to face with the female members of my family sitting in the audience. My daughter’s face at that point will stay with me forever, as one of those most precious mother-daughter moments. She was clapping and cheering her head off and everything about her said, “I’m so proud of my mum!”

So I’ll let you into a secret about me and modelling…I loved it! It felt amazing! I wore clothes I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at in a shop and loved them. To go out there and do something so nerve-wracking and enjoy it did wonders for my confidence. Just don’t tell the vicar’s wife I enjoyed myself or she’ll think she doesn’t owe me one!  

 

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